Eastern European Engine Building at Its Best: Scythe

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Engine Building and Resource Management, Eruogame, Kickstarters, Popular, Role Play, Strategy | 0 comments

Scythe is a miniatures board game set in an alternate history of Eastern Europe that combines mechanics from engine-building games like Brass and worker placement like Lords of Waterdeep. The combination of these elements allows for Scythe to play out as a kind of hybrid between the two genres, giving it more depth than your typical engine-builder while still keeping the pacing brisk enough to make the game enjoyable.

Miniatures for Days

Scythe uses miniatures to represent units in combat – minis can be upgraded and used over and over again, allowing for battles to take place (with the possible addition of cards) between miniatures on the board. This adds a miniatures game element to Scythe that is highly anime-inspired, but minis are typically used in miniatures games to represent armies rather than individual soldiers themselves – minis are not merely for combat purposes here.

The miniatures are miniatures in both senses of the word – miniatures in terms of physical size, but miniatures also in terms of quality, detail, and artistry. There’s something very familiar about them, but they all retain a unique flair that makes each one memorable and exciting to behold.

The miniatures are miniatures in both senses of the word – miniatures in terms of physical size, but miniatures also in terms of quality, detail, and artistry. There’s something very familiar about them, but they all retain a unique flair that makes each one memorable and exciting to behold.

Combat Mechanics

Combat is handled through miniatures in this game, so there’s something decidedly anime-inspired about Scythe. However, miniatures games are typically done with the miniatures representing heroes or armies rather than being representative of soldiers themselves. I’m not sure if that means it’s more like Legend of the Five Rings meets Axis & Allies, but it seems fitting. The miniatures themselves are beautiful and detailed, which makes combat fun as you watch each miniature do its thing.

In Scythe, players begin the game with a faction board that has three mech miniatures on it – one for a worker, a soldier, and a noble. Each player takes turns placing their minis onto various locations on the board. These miniatures represent individual units, but instead of being used to simply fight battles or lay claim to territory, minis are also used to execute various actions throughout the game. For example, at the beginning of the game each player takes one minis from their faction board and places it onto an action space that allows them to build buildings – miniatures are also used to upgrade minis, move minis through territories you control (more minis = more territory), or to take resources.

Mechanics in Scythe revolve around miniatures and minis in a few ways: miniatures represent units that can be placed on the board in order to take actions, minis are used for combat purposes, minis are upgraded throughout play, minis cycle in and out of play each round.

Overall Gameplay

At the beginning of each game, each player receives a player board that has spaces for miniatures on it, but also several other actions which can be taken throughout the duration of play. These actions are broken up into four categories: managing energy, building structures, playing cards/upgrading miniatures/fighting battles. All these actions require the use of miniatures to take place, so it may be necessary to refocus on minis throughout the game in order to accomplish certain things even when it’s not your turn.

Scythe is played over the course of 8 rounds, with miniatures being returned to minishelves on one’s player board at the end of each round. This means that miniatures are constantly cycling in and out of play throughout the game, lending a sense of urgency to minis-related actions throughout play. It also lends itself well to the idea that miniatures are being recruited, so minis can be placed onto miniature shelves at the end of each round.

It is possible to upgrade miniatures throughout the course of play, but it’s somewhat expensive in terms of resources or actions that must be used to do it. I think this serves two purposes: it limits miniatures upgrading to a certain extent, and also incentivizes minis-related actions throughout the course of play.

Create an alternate history and buy Scythe today.

 

 

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